Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji on Friday rescued 24 abductees in the Kabugu Lambau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
The troops received an intelligent report on a bandit hideout at Kabugu Lamba forest where kidnapped victims were concentrated, according to a Channels Television report.
A military source told our correspondent that the troops responded swiftly with a fighting patrol to the general area.
However, on reaching the location, heavy gunfire occurred for hours between the bandits and the Nigerian Army troops and due to the troops’ superior firepower, the armed bandits fled, abandoning the victims in some isolated buildings.
In the encounter, the troops successfully rescued 24 kidnapped victims and neutralised four armed bandits, while others fled with several gunshot wounds.
Among the rescued kidnap victims were nine women, 14 men, and an infant.
All of the rescued were handed over to the appropriate authorities to reunite them with their families.
The rescue operation comes barely a week after the troops rescued 20 kidnap victims in Shinkafi LGA of Zamfara State, while on a routine patrol in the general area.
The victims comprised two females, including a housewife who was abducted a week after her wedding, three children and 15 males, who were kidnapped from different parts of Zamfara and Sokoto states.
During preliminary investigations, the victims revealed that they had spent 21 to 53 days, individually, at the hands of their captors while other victims revealed that they were released from the camp of a notorious bandit kingpin, Bello Turji, due to pressure from the air bombardment and operations of ground troops.
The victims, who disclosed that they were fed two times a day with food cooked by the bandits’ wives, also revealed that there were over 20 bandit camps in the forest where they were kept.
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